English can be a confusing language at the best of times. For instance, is “thats” or “that’s” correct? Is “thats” a word at all? In this post, we will cover which of these phrases is correct and why.
Thats or That’s – Which Is Correct?
The correct spelling is “that’s”. “Thats” is incorrect. This is because “that’s” is a conjunction, a literary device combining two words. In this case, the two words are “that” and “is”. An apostrophe is used to indicate that the word “that’s” is a combination of two different words.
If you remember grade school English classes, you may recall the notion of conjunctions. In an effort to make language more casual, people decided that it would be nice if two words could be said with one word in some cases. For example, “I’m” instead of “I am.”
“That’s” is a conjunction too. It’s a combination of the word “that” and “is”. Like all conjunctions, an apostrophe is placed in the conjunction to roughly designate the separation between the two words being used in this device.
“Thats” is not a word. Anytime you hear “that’s”, you are hearing the conjunction of “that is”, which is always spelled with an apostrophe before the s.
Let’s look at some examples:
- Correct: That’s the craziest thing I have ever heard you say.
- Incorrect: Thats the last thing I expected you to say to me.
In both of these sentences, the speaker is trying to say “that is the”. Because they are trying to say “that is”, the proper spelling of the conjunction is “that’s”. The apostrophe that tells the reader that the word “that’s” is a combination of two words, which they need to know for the sentence to make sense.
“Thats” is a misspelling of “that’s”. It is not a word and there is no situation in which it is correct. Anytime you are using a conjunction with the intent of saying “that is”, the correct spelling is “that’s”. That means there is no scenario in which it is grammatically correct to use “thats”.
Simply put, it’s just plain wrong. There are no exceptions to this. You must never use “thats” in a sentence.
“That’s” is the proper spelling of the word. It is a contraction for the words “that is”. An apostrophe is required in order to let the reader know that the word “that’s” is actually just shorthand for two words. If you are ever intending to say “that is”, the proper way to spell the contraction is “that’s”.
Below are the examples of how to use “that’s” in a sentence:
- I just want to eat my lunch in peace, that’s all.
- And that’s why you should never walk on hot pavement barefoot.
- If that’s the best you can do, you don’t stand a chance against me.
- That’s just the way things are, Kyle.
- Well, that’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.
In these sentences, “that’s” is being used as a contraction for “that is”. This is the only way “that’s” can be used, which is why it is the proper spelling for this word in every case. There is no situation where “thats” would be the proper spelling to use.
“That’s” is the correct spelling for the contraction that means “that is”. “Thats” is not a word, and simply a misspelling of “that’s”. There is no occasion when “thats” would be correct. The correct spelling of this word is always “that’s”.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.